Dominic Browne 05 November 2020

MP calls for changes to highways funding formula

A Conservative MP has called for reforms to the maintenance funding formula for highway authorities in England to take into account road condition, traffic volumes and the council's own contributions.

Jonathan Gullis (pictured), MP Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove & Talke, argued that the way the Department for Transport (DfT) calculates the current block maintenance grant is unfair on urban authorities with major A roads.

'Local authorities produce an annual report on the condition of principal A roads and the volume of traffic. I suggest it is not unreasonable to ask that a revised formula or bolt-on formula should take these reports into account,' he said.

'I think funding calculations should show due regard for road type with principal A roads attracting a premium in some way related to their condition and traffic incidents also taken into account.

'There would need to be safeguarding against false reporting of road conditions. I also think it would be useful to include a match funding element for cities like Stoke-on-Trent that put precious resources into roads despite a local council tax and low council tax base.'

The capital funding from the DfT under the current system sees 84.2% of the cash allocated to roads, based on the length in each local highway authority.

The remaining funds account for the maintenance of bridges with a span of 1.5 metres or more, and the lighting columns in each authority.

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